Bestselling children's author Mem Fox says people should not have babies if they can only take a few weeks off before putting them into childcare.
The Adelaide-based author of Possum Magic and Where Is The Green Sheep has told the Sunday Herald Sun she trembles when she thinks of babies being put into childcare.
"I don't know why some people have children at all if they know that they can take only a few weeks off work," she said.
"I know you want a child, and you have every right to want a child, but does the child want you if you are going to put it in child care at six weeks? I don't think the child wants you, to tell the honest truth."
Fox says she was recently talking to a Queensland childcare worker who said society would look back "and wonder how we have allowed that child abuse to happen".
"It's awful for the mothers as well," she said.
"It's completely heartbreaking."
But the Family Association says today's economic climate is forcing parents to use child care.
Family Association spokeswoman Angela Conway has told Sky News that families are finding it hard to keep one parent at home.
"I think many families certainly have been distracted by an economic climate that is making it very difficult to have one parent at home," she said.
"We really need to face up to the fact that it is become very difficult for families to do that and families that do have a parent at home are making significant sacrifices.